Sunday morning I eat breakfast at Meeting Street with a friend who is visiting from out of town. On the way back to the train station I accidentally pepper-spray him in the face. His eyes become glowing rubies and his voice grows hoarse. "I sucked it in," he coughs, pointing to his throat. A man nearby is hanging out on his porch and observes the whole thing. He leans over the railing with a casual smile like it is nothing unusual, and recommends "cold water for that shit." We thank him for his advice.
At 1:00 PM I go to the Rock. A kid is puking outside. "Sorry," he says as I hop over his vom on my way in. It is fuchsia-colored. I have seen this kid around campus before; I always thought he personified the word "hangdog," and never more so than right now. It is nice of him to apologize.
Things are worse in the lobby. The regular coffee is out; only hazelnut and decaf are available. What is the point? A sign taped to the bagel case at the snack cart reads:
There is NO cream cheese today
But I do not want a dry and untoasted bagel. I might as well crumple up a BDH and shove it down my throat.
For the first time ever, when I swipe my card, I notice that a little screen on the swiper flashes the words ACCESS GRANTED. The Rock is busy and I want to be alone with my unrewarding thoughts, so I find a carrel in the basement and colonize it. It is difficult to work because I keep hallucinating the smell of barf and begin to wonder if some of it has gotten on my shoe. Someone has scratched PIMP '94 on the desk and drawn three anuses on the wall.
After a few minutes of idling, two boys water bottles. Murmuring and nudging each other like farm animals. There is even a goaty smell in the air--oh. The boy next to me is eating feta cheese straight from the carton. There are white flakes drifting lightly onto his dreadlocks. Snowstorm.
Brown is an excellent school and yet everyone here looks as though he has just done tons of stupid things. Some people are sublimating their regrets into disciplined essay-writing and problem set-solving. Others are sitting blank and slack-jawed, doing nothing but allowing the library atmosphere to cleanse them of sin. There is a reason we all go to the Rock on Sunday. It is a psychic purgative. At least one person has taken this metaphor to its furthest extent by leaning over the balcony and ridding himself of partially digested mistakes. I should have asked him if he wanted some water or something. A napkin? Absolution?
As you can see I have extensive MOLLY YOUNG B'08, I graduated tops in my class, and my references are impeccable; also I'm a unicorn.